Marks first time FDA initiated a rule change for infant formula and use of dangerous chemical
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement today after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filed a notice in the Federal Register calling for comments on the lawmaker’s petition to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in infant formula packaging. The FDA will allow and review any public comments and will ultimately propose a final rule that will change the regulations so that BPA can no longer be used in packaging of infant formula. This will be the first time the FDA initiated a rule change for infant formula and use of BPA. BPA is a chemical used to harden plastics, and it is so prevalent in household items that it has been detected in the bodies of more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers have found that BPA leaches from containers into food and beverages and has been linked to a host of health problems, including cancer, reproductive dysfunction and heart disease.
“With FDA finally taking steps to remove BPA from infant formula, feeding time for parent and babies just got much safer,” said Rep. Markey, senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FDA. “With the FDA moving forward with my petition, and coupled with the American Chemistry Council petition to end the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, industry practice can follow consumer demand, and we will be able to end the use of BPA in infant formula forever. There are viable alternatives for BPA in food packaging, and I urge companies to stop poisoning our food supply with this dangerous chemical. FDA now must complete and make public their long overdue assessment of BPA’s health impacts and make clear its next steps for ensuring our entire food supply is free from this damaging chemical.”
The petition to the FDA, FDA’s response as well as additional information about Rep. Markey’s work on BPA, including his legislation to ban its use, can be found HERE.
In March 2012, Rep. Markey sent three separate petitions to the FDA requesting the agency permanently remove regulatory approval for the use of BPA in baby and toddler food packaging, small reusable household food and beverage containers, and canned food packaging on the grounds that manufacturers have abandoned use of BPA in these products. The FDA was unable to move forward with Rep. Markey’s petitions for baby food and small reusable food and beverage containers, largely because the FDA could not verify whether the major manufacturers that abandoned BPA’s use and that were included in the petition represented the entire industry responsible for these products. Because some canned food and beverage corporations, including Coca-Cola, ConAgra, and Pepsico, have openly opposed transition away from use of BPA, the agency could not move forward with the petition on canned food.